For this second book in an ongoing exploratory series, multifaceted artist Michael Stipe has collaborated with the writer and artist Douglas Coupland on an investigation of how analog imagery is crashing on the shores of our digital future. For Stipe the signature mark of this phenomenon is the moiré pattern. Culled from Stipe’s vast archive of personal images, the book is a contemplation on the tug-of-war between pixels and halftone, between past memory and new memory and their vagaries of representation.
As an undergraduate studio art major at the University of Georgia, Michael Stipe (born 1960) studied photography and painting before leaving school upon the formation of R.E.M., the band for which he served as frontman and singer/songwriter until its dissolution in 2011. The sensibility that he began to develop during his time as an art student transferred to his spectrum of work for R.E.M., from art directing all graphic, video and stage design, to writing, composing and performance, and his iconoclastic personal style. Stipe’s visibility as a media figure in the popular culture of the 1980s and ’90s left an indelible mark on the aesthetic trends of the time, many of which have trickled down to contemporary culture.